Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:05 pm

Kenshou wrote:It sounds like to me that, and I could be wrong, since you're talking about a large amount of tactile input, that you've been doing anapanasati as a method to develop mindfulness of the body. Using anapanasati to develop the 4 frames of reference is something that I think works very nicely.
In the sutta tho the buddha seems to be talking about developing whole body awareness as a samatha method:
"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'2 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'3 He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' "
Kenshou wrote: How far do you waffle, though? I think a little wiggling is inevitable because of all the things that you're trying to keep in focus, but as long as the wiggling takes place within the confines of where you want the mind to be, then I don't think it's a problem. If you waffle completely off subject, then, that's just a matter of practice, I'm afraid.
I waffle to the point that sensations in the body draw me away from the breath, i guess. Maybe it is just a matter of practice and i thot that experience with another method would translate better to anapanasati.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:07 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:A huatou is a question one asks oneself, similar to a koan. Im using the "not locating the breath any particular place" method.
Maybe i will try the nostril method. I rejected that at first because it seemed artificial and not in line with the suttas.
My focus usually goes to the sensation of the air going in and out of the nose, but the pauses between in and out breath are there. Its alot tricker than i would have first thought, not really an object with constancy, even tho its a tactile sensation unlike a huatou, which in practice seems to resolve itself to a subverbal constant.
Huatou was not taught in the Anapanasati sutta. Im not sure why you would reject the nose tip method but not this "koan" meditation which the Buddha did not teach and is not in the suttas. The two are incompatible in my opinion.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:11 pm

There is much debate whether "whole body" or "entire body" in the third and fourth section refer to the physical body or breath body. Of course bodily sensations will pull you away from the breath. Notice and return.

:anjali:
Last edited by bodom on Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by PeterB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:13 pm

Morlock I would urge you, and I mean urge, you to talk to a good teacher of anapanasati.
An experienced teacher can make tailor- made suggestions that can make a huge difference.
Its not a guru type thing. Its just receiving instruction from someone that knows this particular subject better than we do.

User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:17 pm

bodom wrote:
Huatou was not taught in the Anapanasati sutta.

:anjali:
I know that. I guess i thot the concentration developed with the huatou would be more help.
Im not sure why you would reject the nose tip method but not this "koan" meditation which the Buddha did not teach and is not in the suttas. The two are incompatible in my opinion.
Huatou is a method of its own with its own tradition, i didnt look for verification in the suttas with that method. The idea with a huatou is that you go for direct insight into the nature of mind and consciousness without intervening steps. I rejected the nose tip method at first because it wasnt mentioned anywhere that breath meditation instructions appear in the suttas. My interest in anapanasati stems from a desire to sample the genuine article, as it appears in the suttas. To get some of that old time religion :) Thanks for your help :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:18 pm

PeterB wrote:Morlock I would urge you, and I mean urge, you to talk to a good teacher of anapanasati.
An experienced teacher can make tailor- made suggestions that can make a huge difference.
Its not a guru type thing. Its just receiving instruction from someone that knows this particular subject better than we do.
:thumbsup:

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:20 pm

PeterB wrote:Morlock I would urge you, and I mean urge, you to talk to a good teacher of anapanasati.
An experienced teacher can make tailor- made suggestions that can make a huge difference.
Its not a guru type thing. Its just receiving instruction from someone that knows this particular subject better than we do.
Thats a good suggestion. All i can find locally are vipasanna groups. Still looking tho.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

Kenshou
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by Kenshou » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:23 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:In the sutta tho the buddha seems to be talking about developing whole body awareness as a samatha method:...
I agree, and this is how I practice. I use anapanasati as a method for developing concentration and whole body-mindfulness, as well as the other frames of reference, and utilize the resulting concentration for working on insight.
I waffle to the point that sensations in the body draw me away from the breath, i guess. Maybe it is just a matter of practice and i thot that experience with another method would translate better to anapanasati.
Okay, here's the thing: I don't think you need to be quite so strict about it. If you're attempting to develop mindfulness of the body, it's okay if you're attention drifts to it. In fact I think in proper proportions it's beneficial. Personally, I use the breath contact-point as what you might say a "perch" for the mind, a place for it to stand on so that it doesn't wander off into too much discursive thought. So the mind stays on that focal point, however, that isn't the sole object of awareness. Attention to the body is also there, as well as to the mind. The focal point is on the breath to prevent too much drifting, but the rest of the mental load goes into mindfulness of everything else.

Then, at a certain point, which I consider the second jhana, when concentration has matured and is quite locked in, the breath can be lost as the focal point and attention shifts to the body as a whole as the primary object. Where the breath was the focal point and the body was being watched in the background, now the body is in full focus and the breath is allowed to be in the background.

Of course, this is all opinion. Point is, I don't believe that ultra-strict focus upon only the breath is necessary. In fact after a certain point it ought to be dropped. However if your mindfulness is in general sort of weak, practicing mindfulness of just the breath is probably a good way to go in developing it. I don't know how long you've been at it, but it does take work. It took me several months to get good at this, but I've found it to be very beneficial.

This section of a work by Thanissaro details pretty much exactly how I've found my practice to work: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#pre" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Give it a read, maybe?

These are of course merely opinions and suggestions, you know what's best for you more than someone on the internet will.

User avatar
m0rl0ck
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:51 am

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:26 pm

Kenshou wrote:
Okay, here's the thing: I don't think you need to be quite so strict about it. If you're attempting to develop mindfulness of the body, it's okay if you're attention drifts to it. In fact I think in proper proportions it's beneficial. Personally, I use the breath contact-point as what you might say a "perch" for the mind, a place for it to stand on so that it doesn't wander off into too much discursive thought. So the mind stays on that focal point, however, that isn't the sole object of awareness. Attention to the body is also there, as well as to the mind. The focal point is on the breath to prevent too much drifting, but the rest of the mental load goes into mindfulness of everything else.

Then, at a certain point, which I consider the second jhana, when concentration has matured and is quite locked in, the breath can be lost as the focal point and attention shifts to the body as a whole as the primary object. Where the breath was the focal point and the body was being watched in the background, now the body is in full focus and the breath is allowed to be in the background.

Of course, this is all opinion. Point is, I don't believe that ultra-strict focus upon only the breath is necessary. In fact after a certain point it ought to be dropped. However if your mindfulness is in general sort of weak, practicing mindfulness of just the breath is probably a good way to go in developing it. I don't know how long you've been at it, but it does take work. It took me several months to get good at this, but I've found it to be very beneficial.

This section of a work by Thanissaro details pretty much exactly how I've found my practice to work: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... 3.html#pre" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; Give it a read, maybe?

These are of course merely opinions and suggestions, you know what's best for you more than someone on the internet will.
This is helpful, thank you :)
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

User avatar
bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by bodom » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:34 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
PeterB wrote:Morlock I would urge you, and I mean urge, you to talk to a good teacher of anapanasati.
An experienced teacher can make tailor- made suggestions that can make a huge difference.
Its not a guru type thing. Its just receiving instruction from someone that knows this particular subject better than we do.
Thats a good suggestion. All i can find locally are vipasanna groups. Still looking tho.
Out curiousity, what kind of group are you holding out for? I would say a vipassana group would be as good a place as any to learn anapanasati.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

PeterB
Posts: 3909
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by PeterB » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:06 pm

So would I.

Brizzy

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by Brizzy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:47 am

m0rl0ck wrote:I have some experience doing various samatha and other concentrative meditation practices (koan, huatou), have gotten some interesting results doing these and my concentration is probably pretty good. Lately tho i have been feeling that i wanted to expand my meditative horizons. So today i tried some anapanasati with instructions i got from two youtube videos by Bhante Vimalaramsi. A method that he says is directly from the suttas rather than from commentary or particular tradition.
I have to say that just on one sit using this method i feel i got some good results.

My questions are:

1. Anyone else here with similar experience to mine, that is, coming from huatou or koan practice or other samatha practice to the method above? Any advice?

2. What is the consensus on Bhante Vimalaramsi anapanasati methods as compared to others?

Thank you :bow:
I think Bhante Vimalaramsi & Thanissaro Bhikkhu give the best online, detailed analysis of anapanasati. They both seem to speak from experience and both teach the suttas in a practical & accessible way. I have found the downloadable talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu extremely helpful.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/

:smile:

Brizzy

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by Brizzy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:55 am

jcsuperstar wrote:it's mentioned here

It is a rather strange thing to say. It is said as an aside, and not followed up on. I still think that there is sufficient merit in his teachings for people to listen to him.

I hope that at some stage this comment is followed up.

:smile:

User avatar
christopher:::
Posts: 1326
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by christopher::: » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:57 pm

Brizzy wrote:
I think Bhante Vimalaramsi & Thanissaro Bhikkhu give the best online, detailed analysis of anapanasati. They both seem to speak from experience and both teach the suttas in a practical & accessible way. I have found the downloadable talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu extremely helpful.

http://www.dhammatalks.org/

:smile:
Thanks, Brizzy.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

kukuripa
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Meditator with some experience beginning anapanasati

Post by kukuripa » Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:33 pm

Bhante Vimalaramsi emphasizes Metta,not anapanasati
you might check ajahn brahm,buddhadasa bikku,ayya khema,gil fronsdal, larry rosenberg,....

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 21 guests